Tabula Rasa

Chapter 12

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Twelve

About an hour and a half after Travis had witnessed his partner get knocked to the ground by a hit and run driver, Travis finally was allowed to walk into the operating room that the paramedics had wheeled Wes into just after they arrived at the hospital. As he did, he was surprised to see Wes sitting up on the table as he was slowly and painfully putting his shirt back on. A large piece of gauze covered the area where he had hit his head, evidently against the windshield, as the doctors had mentioned that they had to remove tiny shards of glass, not just from his head, but from his back and arms as well.

"You know, you really should take it easy and allow the doctors to finish treating you," Travis spoke up as Wes noticed him walking toward him. "You're lucky that you're not hurt much worse than you are."

"I know," Wes responded as he finally finished getting dressed. "Believe me, there's nothing I want more than to go home and lie down to take it easy, but I can't. We've got a job to do and I won't allow you to do it on your own. I'm the one that owes it to Jeremy to make things right and the fact that someone just tried to kill me so that I couldn't do my job, means that I was right about Jeremy being innocent."

Travis replied, "Agreed, but how are you really feeling? I mean, do you really feel up to going back to work?"

Wes answered, "I'm all right, Travis. It's just a few bumps and bruises."

"And a concussion from that large gash on the side of your head," Alex suddenly said as she slowly walked into the room a few minutes later.

"Alex, what are you doing here?" Wes asked in surprise as Travis took a few steps back. "How did you…?"

Alex cut him off as she responded, "Travis called me. I scolded him when he didn't call me after last night. Two days in a row, Wes. You were nearly killed two days in a row and for what? To help a college student, who was into drugs and twisted sex clubs and who was accused of being a murderer?"

Wes slid off of the table and nearly lost his balance when he put weight on his sore legs, until Travis rushed forward and helped him to stand, then Wes spoke up again as he replied, "I don't have time for this right now, Alex. Besides, it's not like you really have a say in what I do anymore. This is my job and what you've heard about in the news is nothing but bull shit."

"I just don't want Travis to come to my door in the next few days to tell me that you died!" she shouted. "Is that so terrible?"

"That isn't going to happen," Wes answered softly. "Travis has my back. I don't often give him the credit he deserves, but he has always been here for me when I've needed him, no matter how much crap we dish out to each other. We're partners and no matter our differences, we protect each other."

Travis smiled as he responded, "Aah, that's so sweet, but all your niceness is really beginning to make me sick."

As Travis helped him stand up more on his own, Wes quickly replied, "Yeah, well don't expect it anymore. We've got a job to do."

"Now that's the Wes I know!" Travis cried out excitedly. "You're back! What happened?"

"Someone just tried to kill me, that's what happened," Wes answered as he began to walk toward the doors with his partner's help. "I'm a little ticked off right now. Listen, Alex. I appreciate that you still care enough for me to come down here even though you swore that night that you wouldn't, but I have to do this. The suspect all over the news is innocent and someone just tried to stop me from finding out the truth. I owe it to the kid to clear his name, whether if I am guilty of him dying, or not."

Travis nodded and responded, "He's right. I promise you, that I won't let him out of my sight until this case is over."

Wes glared at Travis as he replied, "I don't need a babysitter."

"Clearly," Travis answered sarcastically. "Are you really sure about leaving here? I can handle this you know. Captain Sutton can call in some security to make sure you're safe as you rest up and get better, while I go around catching the bad guys. I'm sure Amy and Kate would be more than happy to help me out until you're better."

"No," Wes responded firmly. "I'm coming and there's nothing you can say to talk me out of it. Now help me out of here so that we can get back to the office."

Alex followed after them and then when they stopped at the nurses counter in order to pick up the medication one of the doctors had prescribed for him, Alex walked over to stand in front of him once again and said, "Promise me, that you will be more careful and allow Travis to do all the heavy lifting until this case is over."

Wes nodded as he replied, "I promise and thank you. You know, for being here anyway."

"You know, Wes, you may just end up back together yet," Travis spoke up again after he watched Alex lean closer to kiss Wes gently on his cheek and then smile at him before turning and walking away.

"You're wrong," Wes answered sadly as he stared after her as well. "As much as I want it, I can't do that to her. She left me because she was afraid to end up alone and if I were to allow her to disregard her fears to come back to me… I just know that she deserves to be happy with a man, who can give her the kind of life she's always wanted; the kind of life she'd never be able to have with me."

Travis looked at his partner sadly, but also with surprise as he asked, "Wow, does this mean that you're finally ready to move on without her?"

Wes quickly turned to a nurse as she walked over to hand him some medication as well as a pair of crutches to help him walk without having to depend on Travis, thanked her and one of the doctors for their help, then turned back to Travis and responded, "Not totally, but I finally understand that it's time I tried."

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